SCHOOL’S OUT!!! and Mosquitos are in

This has been a tough week!  No, I mean a really tough week!  Last Thursday was the last day of school and now I have three, rambunctious boys running around the house.  Literally, they are bouncing off the furniture and walls.  You see it has been raining here almost every day, and when it’s not raining there is mud everywhere they want to play.  Going outside to burn off their energy hasn’t been an option, and all of their pent-up liveliness has to come out somehow.

I have lots of activities planned for them to do this summer, just not this week.  My mistake.  Last Friday, Joe took the older boys to the KC Royals and Cardinals game and they had a great time.

boys at cardinals game

But this week they’ve been home, and, on the flip side everyone is getting sick!  First it’s been Jacob.  He started with a runny nose that turned into a yucky cough.  He had the wheezy stuff going on — the kind where you have to tell them “cough!  You need to cough”!  Then you start coughing to show them how (he’s two).  Despite this, and the rain, we’ve managed to go to the park a couple of times and caught this great shot with a rainbow:

jacob rainbow

But the lowpoint of this week was Wednesday (or was it Thursday — blur).  Jonah had an orthodontist appointment to get his lower expander put in.  He had the upper expander put in a few months ago and suffered for days before he could figure out how to swallow and use his tongue to eat.  Poor baby has such a small mouth and the minute we left the orthodontist, he realized how miserable he is going to be with yet another metal device pushing his teeth around and challenging him to eat.

Before we left that afternoon, Noah started complaining that he wasn’t feeling good and he felt kind of warm.  By the time I got home, he was sick!  His fever was high (over 101) and he had chills and was shaking.  I loaded him up on Advil then three hours later with Tylenol, and continued this pattern through the night managing to keep his temp from getting too high.  But something was different about this — he kept complaining of pain in his groin area.  After some questioning and evaluation, we found he had a mosquito bite in an area that he’d probably rather I not reveal on my blog (but it’s near an area where lots of bacteria are present!!!).  This bite was different in that it was red, and large.  Ok all mosquito bites can be red and large, but this one was deep, dark red, hot and really large.  I worked many years for an infectious disease specialist in microbiology and I was pretty sure this was infected.

By the next morning, he continued to run fevers and he couldn’t sit comfortably on his bum because of this mosquito bite.  Well, that was enough for me to say we have to go to the doctor.  Sure enough, he has an infected mosquito bite that we are treating with augmentin, Epsom salt baths and antibiotic salve.  If he doesn’t get better by next week, we need to go back.

Because of Noah’s bite, I spent the other night looking up information on mosquito illnesses, and there are some pretty nasty viruses you can get from these bites.  I have a friend that contracted West Nile virus years ago and she has had complications from the disease ever since.  The doctor talked about the importance of wearing mosquito repellant especially in the morning and evenings when these bugs are most active.  He suggested that you don’t necessarily need to spray the childrens’ skin, but their clothing and shoes.  If you find they are still being bitten, go ahead and spray their skin.

This reminded me of a project I saw on-line about making citronella bracelets.  So today I think the kids and I will go get the items to make this project together.  You can buy different citronella bracelets already made, but this sounds like a good activity for the boys.  The leather bracelet material is sold at Hobby Lobby or Michaels, and it appears the citronella oil is sold either at a pharmacy or whole foods store.   The bracelets are not a replacement for the mosquito repellant but an additional protective piece, plus a reminder to always put the repellant on!

Next week will be better — Oh, I hope it will be better!  We are going on a trip to my home town and will be outside a ton!  What have you found to be effective at repelling mosquitos?  Do you have citronella candles or torches?  If so, did you see a difference?  Also, have you found a particular brand of mosquito repellant that works better than others?  Please share . . . I need to get these kiddos covered!


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